Minister Noel Dempsey of Ireland recently launched the publication “Renewable Energy Development 2006”, which provides an overview of the current policies and challenges in the field of renewable energy in Ireland. The challenges lie in encouraging all sectors of the economy and the government to support the use and development of renewable energy sources.

The report concludes that a lot of progress has been made in Ireland in the areas of CHP, bioenergy technologies, ocean power and wind energy.

Dempsey, the Irish Minister for Communications, Marine & Natural Resources, considers the report as the input into policy formation progress. Ireland has set a target to produce 15% of electricity from renewable energy sources in 2010. Dempsey said at the launch of the report that “the role of the government is to provide a stable business environment to encourage the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland that will meet this target”.

In total there is currently 860 MW of renewable electricity capacity connected to the Irish national grid, including biomass, hydro and wind technologies. The renewable electricity target will require growth in the sector to 1,650 MW connected to the grid by 2010.